The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Bean Creek: Grant to address run-off

Written by David Green.


A grant from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation might be used to help fund conservation efforts along Bean Creek.

The foundation announced last week it will contribute $5 million toward projects to keep polluted runoff out of the Maumee River.

maumee.valley“Our grants represent only a down payment on the clean-up of the Maumee River,” said Ellen Alberding of the Joyce Foundation, “but they strategically set the stage for local partners to leverage the funding necessary to make larger improvements.”

Four organizations will focus on nine projects in the Maumee River watershed, from Ft. Wayne, Ind., to Lake Erie.

The 8,316 square mile Maumee watershed is described as the largest river system in the Great Lakes region. The Maumee is said to deposit annually five million tons of eroded soil that contains pesticides, fertilizer, toxic chemicals and other forms of potentially harmful runoff.

The Maumee watershed was once a massive, forested wetland, according to the Joyce Foundation, that has slowly been converted into a mosaic of landscapes. Each land use contributes stresses to water quality, from inadequately treated municipal storm water to contemporary agricultural practices.

In the Tiffin River project, farmers will be enlisted to implement changes to help restore the health of the Maumee.

“Working with farmers—who are the front line of conservation—offers one of the greatest opportunities to make significant progress,” said Terry Noto, a consultant for the nonprofit group Environmental Defense.

Environmental Defense will help set up programs for farmers to plant trees and vegetation along the Tiffin River, restore wetlands, and improve sediment and nutrient management for water quality and wildlife habitat.

Environmental Defense is working to have the CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) amended in Michigan to include Bean Creek and the St. Joseph River in Hillsdale County.

Participation in a CREP program in the Raisin River watershed was very good, Noto said, and she expects equally good results along the Tiffin and Bean.

From the river gauge station on Fulton County Road 20 north into Michigan, Bean Creek drains approximately 206 square miles

Amending the CREP would include southwest Lenawee County to add to existing efforts already underway in Fulton and Williams counties in Ohio.

“In Michigan we don’t have the green light yet,” Noto said, “but we’re hoping for approval by spring. Then there will be really good tools to use on both sides of the state line.”

Fulton County is included in a CREP program that was launched in September 2006.

Noto appreciates CREP projects for the fact that they aren’t part of a regulatory program. Participation is completely voluntary, although land owners do receive payments for enrolling.

Practices include:

• Buffers of trees and shrubs along streams

• Field windbreaks

• Filter strips

• Wetland restoration

• Shallow-water wildlife areas

• Controlled livestock access

• Conservation easements.

Environmental benefits:

• Protect lakes, rivers, ponds and streams

• Filter runoff water of silt, pesticides and other pollutants

• Replenish water tables

• Protect topsoil from erosion

• Enhance wildlife habitat

• Encourage wildlife diversity

• Reduce flooding

• Increase oxygen levels

    – Feb. 21, 2007

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